Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Catherine Borbotsina



This literature review examines and discusses the various aspects of mural making in the context of both traditional art therapy and social action art therapy. The goal of this literature review is to explore and examine the therapeutic benefits of the artistic medium of mural making within the context of art therapy. In the context of traditional group art therapy, research indicates that mural making can assist in developing social and communication skills, conflict resolution skills and result in a sense of accomplishment and enhanced self-esteem. Including a brief introduction and history of mural making in America, key themes were discovered throughout the research that lend insight to how murals may aid in individual and collective healing, identity development, as well as aid in social change by serving as a dialogical performance piece, offering opportunities for open discussion and reflection. The murals, themselves, possess the power of imagery and metaphor that may also aid in individual and collective healing and serve as a tangible representation of expression. Mural making, as a community art project, was found to create opportunities to foster community, enhance a sense of belonging and social awareness, and create connection to others, self, and place.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.




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